Green wa­ter to be pumped out

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

OLYMPICS or­gan­is­ers said they would pump mil­lions of litres of green wa­ter from a Rio pool af­ter ad­mit­ting de­feat in at­tempts to get it back to blue.

In a “rad­i­cal” step, 3.73 mil­lion litres (985,000 gal­lons) will be re­placed at the 50-me­tre wa­ter polo pool, which started to host syn­chro­nised swim­ming yes­ter­day.

Of­fi­cials blamed hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide, added to the pool by a con­trac­tor, as the cause of the pool turn­ing a murky green.

Clean-up ef­forts are also fail­ing at the ad­ja­cent div­ing pool, which is a darker green and smelled like a “fart” on Au­gust 12, ac­cord­ing to one diver.

But while the div­ing pool can stay green with­out af­fect­ing com­pe­ti­tion, venue man­ager Gus­tavo Nasci­mento said syn­chro­nised swim­ming re­quires crys­tal-clear wa­ter.

“We’ve been try­ing for four days. Ob­vi­ously it’s not go­ing as fast as we wanted ... so we’re go­ing to change the wa­ter,” Nasci­mento told a press con­fer­ence.

“We’re go­ing to drain the wa­ter from the com­pe­ti­tion pool and we’re go­ing to pump the wa­ter from the warm-up pool into the com­pe­ti­tion pool,” he added.

The op­er­a­tion was to be fin­ished by 7am yes­ter­day, Nasci­mento said – four hours be­fore syn­chro­nised swim­ming gets un­der way with the duet free rou­tine.

Nasci­mento said the div­ing pool and then the big­ger pool next to it turned green be­cause a con­trac­tor added 80 litres of hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide which neu­tralised the chlo­rine.

Hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide is used in the clean­ing of swim­ming pools but it should not be mixed with chlo­rine, Nasci­mento told re­porters. “Our con­trac­tor’s fail­ure is our fail­ure,” he said, adding that the ef­fect of some 120 ath­letes jump­ing into the pool had com­pounded the prob­lem.

Divers said it had no ef­fect on their per­for­mances but wa­ter polo play­ers us­ing the larger pool com­plained of sting­ing eyes as ex­tra chlo­rine was pumped in.

“Syn­chro­nised swim­ming re­quires clear wa­ter for ref­er­ee­ing and clear wa­ter for ath­letes to see each other so we’re go­ing to change the wa­ter,” Nasci­mento said.

“This [re­place­ment op­er­a­tion] will be done overnight. The warm-up wa­ter is in per­fect con­di­tion with aes­thet­ics vis­i­bil­ity and trans­parency for the ath­letes to per­form at their best.”

Rio Olympics spokesper­son Mario An­drada said the “rad­i­cal mea­sure” had been taken af­ter dis­cus­sions with aquat­ics body FINA.

Photo: EPA

The placid green wa­ters in Rio’s div­ing pool are be­ing emp­tied just ahead of syn­chro­nized swim­ming’s open­ing event.

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